Rita found herself completely distracted, driving to work like a robot, oblivious to the traffic around her, the time or anything else. She felt exposed, raw and vulnerable, as though someone had taken a can opener to her life and pulled back the lid. Squirming physically in her seat, she looked at the other drivers around her, were they looking at her, could they see, did they know? Shaking her head and laughing out loud at herself, she wiggled her body back into the present moment. “Okay Rita, let’s get back into the game. Remember, you are on your way to work, time to turn on the brain to the here and now,” she stated out loud to herself.
Turning on her blinker, she waited in the turning lane to pull into the parking lot of the nine story business building. Her thoughts drifted to her boss and the day before her. A rush of emotions gurgled up as she momentarily reflected on her discontent with her job.
Rita actually felt really good about the company she worked for, it was a budding international agricultural commodities business that focused on safe, fresh, year round healthy vegetables and eventually fruit. It was definitely a company in line with her values and beliefs around the availability of organic sustainable agriculture. YouXin (sounds like Yoe – Shin in English) was based in Hong Kong, with offices in Europe and the United States. Her office was very small, her boss, a project manager and herself. Her desk sat strategically in the center of it all, the hub which kept the flow going. What was her title, oh yeah, “Administrative Assistant”, four years in college to answer phones, make travel arrangements, handle accounts receivable and payables, etc… If she was honest, she could not complain, they treated her well and it was a schedule that worked good with the kids needs.
Putting her car in park, she climbed out, gathering her packed lunch and purse, hitting lock on the door. She marveled at how funny she felt today, how had such a silly thing as a magazine upset her so? Why was it eating away at her mind and heart?
“Hello Rita,” her boss called as she passed his office door. “Good morning Ken,” Rita responded. Rita went directly to the break room where she put her lunch in the fridge and then returned to her desk. Placing her purse in the large bottom drawer to the right of her chair, she turned on her computer, to let it warm up while she went to check in with Ken. Sharon, the project manager was presently on a trip to visit some possible farm sources.
The morning dragged on, for Rita was anxious to get to lunch, she couldn’t wait to see if the magazine still worked. It felt alive down in the drawer, like a living breathing entity. She chuckled at herself for thinking about if it could breathe or not. “Oh my, she really was losing her mind,” she thought.
It was a beautiful Spring day, so Rita grabbed her lunch from the fridge and went out on the patio to find a quiet spot that sat away from anyone else who might come outside. There were other businesses in the building, so sometimes the patio space could get quite full. Today she really hoped it would stay quiet. Since it was Friday, there was a good chance it would, for most people seemed to go out to eat on Friday.
Organizing her lunch in front of her and placing a napkin in her lap, she pulled out the magazine. Delighted the cover still looked the same, “The BEingness Project, Your Personal Journey Home….” Inhaling, she opened the cover, quickly looking around to see if anyone had come outside. Looking down, she gasped, for the page was blank. Just as she was about to shut the magazine in shock and confusion, new words, floated across the page.
“Hello Rita, it’s a brand new day,” flowed the black ink.
“Where did yesterday’s conversation go,” she asked out loud, surprising herself.
“That’s the beauty of a good nights sleep, everyday is a fresh start, a blank canvas, a new opportunity,” responded the magazine.
“So, let me get this straight, everything we share today, will be gone tomorrow,” she said in her head, remembering to not talk out loud.
“Yes,” came the simple reply.
Then, “you seem upset,” inquired the page.
“No, yes, well a little. I guess I’m actually a bit sad, for I am not sure that I remember everything we talked about yesterday. I don’t want to forget,” she exhaled.
“It’s okay, your inner being, or soul as humans like to call it, always remembers,” responded the magazine.
Rita took a couple of bites of her salad while she pondered this new information. In some ways she was grateful, yet, she also was upset. What a strange paradoxical sensation to feel. The page interrupted her thoughts.
“Are you happy,” appeared in bold letters across the page.
“We discussed that yesterday, why are you asking me again today?” she retorted.
“See, you do remember. We ask again because that’s what everyone is seeking, that’s why you are here, that’s what life is all about,” typed the page.
“Then why do I feel like such a mumble jumble of emotions all the time,” she exhaled in sad thought.
“Because you forgot how to choose the things that bring you joy. You forgot to please you, to do things you want to do, to create, to dream, to play, to be,” floated the response.
“No one can live life that way,” she exclaimed out loud, forgetting where she was. Frantically she looked around the patio to make sure no one heard her. Damn, I must remember to do this in my head!
“Yes they can,” lit the page.
“How,” she asked
“By listening to your heart and soul. Living from that space instead of from your programed mind,” replied the magazine.
Rita glanced at her phone to check the time. Whew, she still have fifteen minutes. She set her timer to go off in ten minutes, so that she could go to the bathroom before returning to her desk. While she had been looking away from the page, new words had floated across the clear white space.
“Tell me about a time that you were really happy,” asked the words
Rita inhaled quietly, closed her eyes for a moment to feel a time when she was really happy. Moments with her children floated across her mind. She loved watching them engage in life, they truly filled her with such love and joy. However, that was their journey. Searching still, she traveled back across her life. Landing at a time in her mid-twenties when she was working on a large art piece for a competition.
To be continued… 3